Episode 4 of HBO’s Westworld saw the return of Elsie Hughes, a character who has been missing — presumed dead — since Episode 6 of Season 1. Many fans were under the assumption that she had been strangled to death by Bernard. However, that turned out to not be the case. So, did Bernard save Elsie of his own free will, or did Dr. Ford have something else in mind for the Westworld behavioralist?
SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses Season 2 of HBO’s Westworld. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.
In Episode 5 of Westworld, fans discovered that Elsie Hughes (Shannon Woodward) was not killed by Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) under the instruction of Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins). Of course, it had already been confirmed last week that Elsie had survived this event. Instead, Bernard contained Elsie to a remote cave in the park, giving her meager food rations for her to survive on.
So, why did Bernard spare her life?
Some fans wonder if Bernard spared Elsie because of his own free will, even though he had been sent by Dr. Ford to deal with her. Bernard, having worked closely with Elsie in Westworld, had a co-worker bond and so it could have been possible that Bernard refused to do as Dr. Ford instructed because he was friends with Elsie. However, considering Bernard is a host, it seemed highly unlikely, at that point in time, that he would be able to go against Dr. Ford’s programming. Of course, since then, the hosts have revolted against their human oppressors and many are doing exactly what they want now anyway.
According to an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Shannon Woodward weighs in on why Elsie survived.
Shannon reveals that she thinks Dr. Ford was actually the one who stopped Bernard from killing Elsie. Instead, the whole story was not revealed to the audience and assumptions were made based on what viewers saw in Episode 6 of Westworld.
“I think Ford made him do it. Ford needed to lock me up and keep me out of his way… Elsie’s the one who could have stopped everything. I think she got a little too close, so he decided to sideline me.”
Woodward also revealed that Elsie has been contained in that cave for “a significant amount of time.”
Season 2 of Westworld returns with Episode 5 on Sunday, May 20, at 9 p.m. ET. According to the Hollywood Reporter, this episode will be titled “Akane No Mai.”